Ugandan university honours Madikizela Mandela

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Winnie Madikizela Mandela has received an Honorary Doctorate from Uganda’s highest institution of learning.

Makerere University honoured the veteran activist for her roles in the struggle against apartheid.

The University awarded Madikizela-Mandela an honorary Doctorate of Laws for her role in South Africa’s liberation struggle.

It is one of the highest distinctions bestowed by the institution.

Her niece Gandai Baai was on hand to receive the award and underline what Winnie Mandela fought for.

“Thank you for turning every girl child, every woman to refuse to be a victim and to refuse to be defeated.”

“Let anyone define you according to their standards, let us continue to ensure the total emancipation of our people in the continent, the women and the children, aluta continua!”

This was the 68th graduation ceremony for Uganda’s largest university.

Most of the graduates may be too young to remember Madikizela Mandela’s leading role in the anti-apartheid struggle. But they still see her as a source of inspiration.

Graduate Shivan Musimenta says, “Her fighting for rights, I think that resonates with Uganda because we are going through the same stuff for our voice to be out there.”

“It’s really a lesson to learn from her, she is a strong woman. She has strong character and we have to take her trend.”

Madikizela Mandela was unable to attend, still there was everything to celebrate; not just her achievements but also those of her former husband, Nelson Mandela.

As with many parts of Africa, Madikizela-Mandela’s legacy can be felt and the efforts of her struggles for freedom continue to resonate well beyond her own homeland.

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Zimbabwe politicians remember Roy Bennett

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Several Zimbabwe politicians are expressing their shock at the passing of Roy Bennett.

The former Treasurer-General of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change, his wife, Heather, and three other people died in a helicopter crash in the American state of New Mexico on Wednesday.

Former Minister of Finance and Leader of the People’s Democratic Party Tendai Biti says it is a serious loss to mankind and a blow to his family and the struggle.

Biti, who served with Bennett under Morgan Tsvangirai before he formed the PDP, says he can’t believe he will never speak to Bennett again. Many are passing condolences to their children Casey and Charles.

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Children miss school because of drought in parts of Kenya

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Several school going children in some of Kenya’s arid areas have not resumed classes following a long dry spell in most parts of the country.

Children are said to have followed their parents for long treks away from their villages in search of water and pastures for their animals. Most of the affected are Masai who are traditionally herders.

The previous day we met Henry Matiyan, a guardian who had come to collect a transfer letter for his brother.l The drought has forced his family to move several kilometres away from here – he will now continue schooling elsewhere.

“If it continues, it means there will be no school; all these children will go away with their parents,” says Kinuthia.

Kajiado like many parts of Kenya has not received adequate rainfall since 2016.  It is an arid area – meaning it lacks adequate water.

The Masaai people who are the main inhabitants of the area are livestock keepers – the more one has the wealthier they are, now their livestock’s carcasses dot their land, their cattle bomas are empty and so are their pockets.

Kajaido Resident college student Henry Matiyan has been forced to drop out until the rains.

“Ideally the school fees would come have from, from cattle, I as a masaai that is our bank. We have no other place to look for money, the only way is to sell cattles and goats.”

“It’s a big, big loss, big loss. Cows have died, our goats have died, even donkeys,” adds another resident Amos Lau Lau

To save the remaining livestock, they have now moved hundreds of kilometres from here in search of pastures and water for their livestock together with their children.

Only old women, the pregnant and very little children have been left behind.

Food has kept Enosorua Primary school running at least for now. We witness the children receiving a meal of maize of beans – just a cup per child but that cup means the difference between keeping the school open or closed.

“Do you see? That this food makes children come to school?  Yes, that I really accept, because when it is not there, the children cannot come to school,” says Enosorua Primary School teacher, Maxwell Obaga.

The arid and semi-arid areas make at least 80% of Kenya.

Education officials from the county, who refused to speak to the SABC on camera say, although Kajiado is an arid area, it is not classified as a hard ship area and does not therefore receive food rations from the government.

“It breaks our hearts to see our kids go the whole day without food and they are expected to compete with others who have better facilities,” says Sankale.

We sought a comment from Kenya’s ministry of Education but we were yet to get a response by the time of filing this report.


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Ethiopia frees prominent opposition leader

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Prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina was freed from jail on Wednesday after the government dropped charges against him as part of a wider prisoner amnesty, state media reported. In his first reported comments after his release, Merera urged the government to hold “honest negotiations” with political organisations to consolidate a national consensus. Merera is
Source: The New Age

Sudan police beat protesters at demo against rising prices

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Anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons Tuesday as hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated against soaring bread prices near a presidential palace in Khartoum, an AFP correspondent said.

Bread prices have more than doubled after a jump in the cost of flour due to dwindling wheat supplies, after the government decided to stop importing grain and allow private companies to do so.

The protest was the biggest in Khartoum since demonstrations erupted in some parts of the country earlier this month following the price increase.

On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters poured into the streets near a presidential palace in central Khartoum after the opposition Communist Party of Sudan called for an anti-government rally.

“No, no to hunger! No, no to high prices,” shouted protesters near the palace, the correspondent reported.

Police fired tear gas and hit protesters with batons as they tried to break up the protest.

On Monday last week, students also rallied against the rising prices near Khartoum University but police swiftly broke up the protest.

The day before, in the town of Geneina in the war-torn region of Darfur, a student was killed during a similar protest.

It was unclear how he was killed.

Anti-government protests erupted after the cost of a 50-kilo sack of flour jumped from from 167 to 450 Sudanese pounds ($25).

Similar protests were held in late 2016 after the government cut fuel subsidies.

The authorities cracked down on those protests to prevent a repeat of the deadly unrest that followed an earlier round of subsidy cuts in 2013.

Dozens of people were killed in 2013 when security forces crushed large street demonstrations, drawing international condemnation.

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Chinese FA warns clubs over Aubameyang ‘bidding war’

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China’s football association (CFA) warned Tuesday that it would punish teams who flout its transfer rules, following reports two clubs are battling to sign striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Chinese Super League (CSL) champions Guangzhou Evergrande are reportedly prepared to pay at least 70 million euros for the Borussia Dortmund attacker, trumping an offer by rivals Beijing
Source: The New Age

DR Congo mourns flood victims as cholera fears mount

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DR Congo started two days of national mourning Monday for 48 people killed by floods and mudslides in the capital Kinshasa amid concerns of a cholera outbreak in the vast city of 10 million. The mid-week fatalities following torrential rain wreaked havoc on flimsy homes which were flattened by mudslides. “I am here to survey
Source: The New Age

Surgery deaths in Africa twice global average: Study

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Death rates for patients undergoing surgery in Africa are double the global average even though they tend to be younger, scientists said on Wednesday, adding that many deaths were likely preventable.

Contributory factors include few specialists, poor hospital infrastructure and a lack of post-operative monitoring, they said in a study published in the Lancet medical journal.

“Patients receiving surgery in Africa are younger than the global average, with a lower-risk profile and lower complication rates, and yet are twice as likely to die,” the authors wrote.

The survey – the most comprehensive study of surgery in Africa – was funded by the Medical Research Council of South Africa and covered 247 hospitals in 25 countries.

It showed about one in five surgery patients developed a complication. Comparisons with international data for elective surgery showed that death rates from elective surgery were 1% in Africa compared with 0.5% for the global average.

Infections accounted for more than half of complications. The most common procedure was caesarian delivery.

The authors suggested many lives could be saved by improving patient monitoring during and after surgery.

They said a lack of crucial equipment and supplies hampered surgical care in Africa; a quarter of hospitals have no reliable oxygen source, a third do not have reliable electricity and nearly half do not have dedicated postoperative care.

Data showed there were just 0.7 specialists per 100,000 people in the study countries – around 30 times lower than the levels needed to reduce mortality.

Although the main aim of the study was to examine surgical outcomes, the authors said the most alarming finding was how few people actually received surgery.

An average of 212 operations per 100 000 people were performed in the study countries – 20 times lower than the level required to meet a country’s surgical needs.

Although there was an urgent need to improve peri-operative care in Africa, the authors said the absence of surgery represented “a silent killer that probably claims more lives”.

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New Zimbabwe government seeks to sell stakes in state-owned companies

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Zimbabwe has invited bids for stakes in up to eight loss-making state-owned enterprises, including its national airline and power utility, to help plug a ballooning budget deficit, its deputy finance minister said on Wednesday. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Robert Mugabe two months ago, is under pressure to deliver on his promises to
Source: The New Age

36 dead in central Kenya bus crash

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Thirty-six people were killed and 11 injured early Sunday morning in a head-on collision between a bus and a lorry on a road in central Kenya, police said.

“The death toll is now 36,” said Rift Valley traffic police chief Zero Arome, explaining the initial toll of 30 had risen, “after six passengers succumbed to injuries in hospital.”

The accident occurred at 3:00 am (0000 GMT)close to a notorious stretch on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

A bus travelling from Busia, in western Kenya, collided with a truck coming from Nakuru town.

Police said the death toll for that stretch of road has now topped 100 this month alone.

Arome said the drivers of both vehicles were among the dead, as well as a three-year-old child, while the injured had been taken to a Nakuru hospital.

One survivor, speaking from his hospital bed, said he had been asleep at the back of the bus when the collision happened.

“All I heard was a loud bang and screams from all over,” he said. “I was seated at the back and was helped out after some time because my legs were stuck. It is by the grace of God that I am alive. I saw many people dead and their bodies mutilated.”

Official statistics show that around 3,000 people die annually in road accidents in Kenya, but the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the figure could be as high as 12,000.

In December last year more than 40 people died when an out of control fuel tanker ploughed into vehicles and then exploded on another busy stretch of highway. Deaths from road accidents commonly spike during the holiday period when people criss-cross the country visiting relatives.

In recent weeks road accidents have claimed the lives of hundreds of people, among them three Pentecostal bishops and a newly elected governor.

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